gratitude habit

How to Reinforce Your Gratitude Habit with a Journal

Once you get into the gratitude habit of contemplating what you’re grateful for each day, it’s time to consider making it a written activity. Writing down what you appreciate doesn’t take much more time than simply thinking about it each day. You don’t have to have strong writing skills to write down a couple of sentences. The physical process of creating a record of gratefulness has some truly amazing benefits.

This can be intimidating for people who don’t like to write or who feel they may not have time to dedicate to this daily habit. In all honesty, it really doesn’t take much more time to write it down than to simply think about what you appreciate, and you don’t have to have strong writing skills in order to jot down three sentences. Here are some ideas to help make the process seem a little less stressful.

Benefits of a Gratitude Journal

There are many benefits to keeping a gratitude journal. Instilling a writing practice in this way ensures that you maintain a focus on positivity. Sure, sometimes bad things may happen, but this overall emphasis on finding the good can help to provide you with the resilience to keep going. Your stress levels will decrease as you begin embracing an attitude of gratitude. Plus, the act of writing can be therapeutic in itself.

Writing also helps to give you a different perspective on things that you might not see as readily without engaging in the process. You can identify patterns and insight into your life that might help you to identify opportunities and to grow.

More About Gratitude Journals

While it’s called a “gratitude journal”, it’s actually a tool or a record. You don’t have to write in a paper journal, but research shows greater benefits to physical writing over typing. The important part is you take the time each day to record a few things that make you feel fortunate. Doing so can actually help to manifest more positive things.

Writing down what you’re appreciative of each day brings a sense of gratefulness to the forefront of your mind. It allows you to focus on the positive, helping you spot opportunities you might otherwise have missed. Keeping a gratitude journal gives you a written record to pull out and look back on any time you’re feeling down. It can provide you with motivation in the toughest of times.

Tips for Using Your Gratitude Journal

The most important thing about a gratitude journal is consistency. I like to think of it as practice. The more consistent we are in our practice the more it becomes a part of who we are.

Some people journal twice a day. Others prefer once. Regardless, it only takes 5 minutes of regular use to be effective. One of the best ways to help yourself want to use your journal is to choose a format you enjoy. Don’t force yourself to write in a journal by hand if you prefer to use electronic methods. You can keep your records in a simple word processing spreadsheet or use one of many apps that are available for this purpose.

On the other hand, if you are inspired by a beautifully-bound paper journal, find one that speaks to you and use it to start writing your thoughts. Of course, I’m a little partial to the physical journal and love using my Creating Positive Habits Journal for this very purpose. If you haven’t seen it yet you can get more information about it here.

No matter what you use, keep it handy by your bedside or on easily accessed devices. Turn your routine into a ritual. Make it a process that feeds your soul. Incorporate journal writing into part of your morning or evening routine. Maybe a candle or relaxing music would make it special. Whatever works for best, just make it yours.


A gratitude journal can be an insightful and life-changing tool. Remember, you only have to write three simple things you’re grateful for. There’s no need to make it complicated. Start your record-keeping practice today and see what it can do for you.

What are you going to do today to start recording your gratitude? Share your ideas with us in the comments below.

Would you like to be a part of our gratitude challenge? It’s always easier to create a new habit when you have a support team backing you up.  Click below to receive weekly encouragement and join our Facebook group HERE to get daily doses of gratitude ideas in your newsfeed.

journal with pen and headphones

How to Reinforce Your Gratitude Habit with a Journal

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6 thoughts on “How to Reinforce Your Gratitude Habit with a Journal”

  1. This is great! It can be so easy to overlook the importance of recording gratitudes, but it is powerful. I love how Shaun Achor talkks about the impact focusing on what you’re grateful can have. It helped to reverse his depression and now he teaches it in corporate America to increase productivity!! Gratitude is like a secret weapon! #heartandsoullinkup

    1. I love the idea of thinking of gratitude as a secret weapon. It is a powerful force if we use it the right way. Thanks, Alicia!

  2. I love your advice about not worrying about whether you’re a “good writer” or not. Some people don’t like to write, some do, but EVERYONE can benefit from a gratitude journal. 🙂 The actual process of thinking and writing is so helpful. I actually look back at my gratitude journal when I have hard days. It’s important to just see a big ol’ list of what makes me happy and what I’m really thankful for. Thanks for sharing this post at #heartandsoullinkup. 🙂

  3. This is so great! I’ve been wanting to start a gratitude journal, and this is inspiring me! I’m also a huge lover of paper and pen vs. technology…time to go buy a beautiful journal and get started! 🙂 #heartandsoullinkup

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